Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) will continue providing its vital meals on wheels service to vulnerable residents after winning a new service contract with the county council
HILS successfully tendered for the contract which will run until 2025 and currently delivers over 517,000 meals a year to individuals and lunch clubs.
In addition to delivering hot lunches, HILS delivers around 60,000 tea and breakfast packs to clients and social groups.
Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, cllr Richard Roberts, said: “We are delighted that HILS has been successful in being awarded this five-year contract providing meals and advice to our older and vulnerable residents.”
Hertfordshire County Council entered into an agency agreement with HILS in 2008 as a new social enterprise for the management and delivery of hot meals, initially to Watford, North Herts, Stevenage and Hertsmere residents. The service has greatly evolved since its early beginnings and was extended to 365 days a year in 2010 and in 2013 the service expanded to the whole county.
CClr Tim Hutchings, cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention, said: “HILS has an impressive track record, not just delivering meals on wheels for those most in need, but also provides a range of additional community services as part of the county council’s goal for all residents to live independent, healthy and long lives.”
HILS also provides a nutritional review of service users if there are concerns over loss of weight raised by delivery staff, GPs, health visitors or concerned family members.
Their ‘nutrition boosts’ are tailormade to service users identified as being malnourished or for residents who are convalescing after a spell in hospital, having been identified as requiring additional nutrition.
They also provide meals designed for diabetics, or soft and pureed food for people who have been advised to have a texture-modified diet.
HILS are also able to provide meals for people with specific cultural and religious requirements such as Kosher, Halal, West Indian or Caribbean.
Other supplementary services include providing medicinal prompts and pop-in visits to remind service users to take their medication, ‘Home from Hospital’ packs and access to HILS’ dementia club.